SPOTLIGHT ON CHAD YOUNG, CEO OF NORVADO


   
Submitted photo.

Chad Young grew up in Appleton, Wisconsin.  When he was a young boy, he had no idea he would serve on many boards and advance his career in the telecommunications field.  "Growing up in the 80s, I thought I would work in high finance in one of the world’s financial centers.  As I grew up, I realized the big city isn’t for me and that there’s a lot more to life than a high paying corporate job.  The great outdoors, the community sense of living in a small town, and the feeling that you are contributing to the area where you live and giving back to others is what brings me joy, and there is nothing else I would rather be doing than what I do now."

To get to where he is now, Chad graduated from Bradley University with a degree in finance and quantitative methods.  He went on to earn his MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  After college, he worked at Rockwell International.  He also worked as an intern at the United States Embassy in London.  "A favorite memory from London," Chad said, "was grabbing an amazing pastry at a Yugoslavian bakery and taking the tube to work each morning."

Chad then went on to work at TDS Telecommunications Corporation in Madison for the next 18 years.  "At TDS, I held a variety of positions including the role of Manager of Business Development & Analysis where I was focused on mergers and acquisitions. I was the Director of Market Management where I directed the marketing and community relations activities across all of TDS’s ILEC and CLEC serving territories.  I also held positions in product management, consumer marketing, product development, and was the general manager for four TDS Telecommunications-owned telephone companies in the State of Maine."

In September 2015, Chad, along with his wife, Mary, decided to move to Cable, Wisconsin with their two daughters, who are now 11 and 14.  The family made the move so Chad could take on the role of CEO and General Manager for Chequamegon Communications Cooperative, also known as Norvado.

"In addition to my current role for Norvado, I am also the President of the Cable, Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce; President of the board of directors for the Bayfield County Economic Development Corporation; am a board member for the Iron River, Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce; serve as a board member for the Wisconsin Locally-Owned Telephone Association; and am past president of the Wisconsin State Telephone Association.  I was also nominated to, and am a current member of, the Wisconsin Governor’s Broadband Task Force."

Chad has a lot of telecommunications experience, and while he couldn't think of a single experience that has brought him the most joy, he did share something that brings him happiness daily.  "I really enjoy the excitement, sometimes relief, demonstrated by customers when Norvado builds and offers super fast fiber Internet to their home or business.  Every time a resident tells me their Internet is better here than in a major metropolitan area, or a business lets me know that their fiber connection is essential to their livelihood, I can’t help but get excited about what we do."  He added, "I know together we can accomplish as much and more as any big city."

According to Chad, many people are moving from the larger cities to our small communities to enjoy the natural beauty and small town living in the northwoods.  "I believe people should be able to thrive in the place they live.  Without super high-speed Internet, working in the northwoods becomes very limited.  Since Norvado started growing its fiber to the home strategy, we’ve seen tremendous growth in telecommuting (remote working).  People should live in [the area] because they can work remotely, without telecom disruption, and enjoy one of the greatest places on Earth, the northwoods."

While Chad said he is passionate about Norvado, its employees, and helping its customers thrive in the northwoods, he's not all work and no play.  "Hands down my favorite hobby is walleye fishing.  I’m a jig fisherman and there is nothing better than enjoying the solitude of one of our local lakes and feeling the 'tick tick' that lets you know you have a bite."  Regarding what he and his family like to do together, he said, "We enjoy spending time as a family fishing, boating, hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, and enjoying the outdoors....I get happiness knowing my family resides in a safe, beautiful, small town, where there are no limitations in accessing the rest of the world."  That happiness is what leads Chad to know this area is where he wants to stay.

However, if Chad could time travel, he would go back a number of decades.  "I would love to meet my great grandfather on my mother’s side of the family.  I met him when I was very young but never got the chance to know him.  In pictures, him and I look very much alike.  I know from stories my mother has told me that my great grandfather was also very frugal and could fix just about anything, which I also respect a great deal."  Frugality very well may be in Chad's DNA as he also mentioned he misses $1 per gallon gasoline, to which many people can relate.

Chad feels the most important issue of our current time is education.  "Ensuring our children are equipped to compete globally" is important to him.  The importance of super high-speed Internet is a major factor to quality education.  We must ensure our children and educators are connected to world-wide information."  He added that he would like to see continued economic development in the communities "not to create large cities, but to preserve thriving small towns and families within those towns."  Chad said that, while living here, he has learned there is a lot of great talent in the northwoods.  There are people with a "can do" attitude, which reminded him of his favorite quote by Henry Ford, "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right."

Chad knows the team at Norvadocan and does deliver well to its customers.  "I think our largest contribution to the community is the delivery of fiber to the home and business.  We’ve invested close to 100 million dollars into this initiative, and we continue to invest 10 million or more per year, all to ensure our customers can thrive in the place they love to live....We are working towards and looking forward to completing our fiber builds to all customers in our territory.  Finishing the fiber network is scheduled for 2023, and we are looking forward to its completion."

CAREER OPPORTUNITY:  Norvado is seeking a Customer Technology Consultant and Director of Engineering and Construction.  View these and other job/career opportunities in our Help Wanted Section.
(This post was last modified: 04-13-2022, 12:13 AM by My Northern Wisconsin.)